Iodine is a distinctive mineral that helps to contribute to a number of your body's important functions. Among the most crucial of these is the development of certain hormones that help your body to regulate the thyroid. The thyroid gland in turn regulates your metabolism and a variety of other bodily systems.
Keeping a proper level of iodine in your system can help to keep your metabolism up, to prevent growth problems, to keep your bladder and bowels regular and healthy and to ensure that you remain generally active and healthy. Like all other minerals, however, iodine must be acquired through certain foods that you eat or as a supplement. It is not naturally occurring in most foods, so it pays to be aware of which foods provide the best sources of iodine, particularly if your doctor recommends that you boost the levels of iodine throughout your system.
1. Fish and Seafood
Iodine is most readily available through a diet rich in seafoods and fish. Among the types of fish that are richest in iodine are haddock and cod, while other white fish generally have decent supplies of iodine as well. The best payout in terms of iodine levels as compared with the size and caloric content of a food, however, is in other types of seafood. Shrimp are famed for their high levels of iodine, as are mussels and clams. Eating these foods on a regular basis will ensure that you have plenty of iodine in your system.
2. Cheddar Cheese
Another common food that contains a portion of your recommended iodine intake is cheddar cheese. Cheese processed through a variety of different mechanisms, like American cheese, does not tend to contain as much iodine, so stick to naturally produced cheeses for the best results. Cheddar cheese, like all other cheeses, is rich in certain nutrients but also high in fat and calories, so it's best to moderate the total amount of cheese that you take in.
3. Eggs and Egg Products
Eggs contain a small amount of iodine. The most efficient way to get the nutrients of an egg is to eat it plain. Be sure to ingest at least part of the yolk of the egg as well, as this is the richest in iodine. Eggs have a wide variety of additional health benefits, so it's well worth your time to keep them in your regular diet. Egg products like mayonnaise also contain iodine. However, mayonnaise is generally unhealthy in terms of calories and fat content.
4. Fish Oil
Although it's not commonly used as a major food source, fish oils do contain a high level of iodine. Fish oil supplements may therefore be sufficient to provide you with the small amount of iodine that your body requires.
Keep in mind that only a miniscule amount of iodine is necessary for the proper functioning of your body. You do not need to ingest large amounts of iodine.